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(ve.  I 

Shelley  Society's  publications. 

SECOND  SERIES.    No.  1. 







LONDON   1886 








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It  is  not  proposed  on  the  present  occasion  to  enter  upon  any 
criticism  of  Shelley's  great  Elegy, — the  poem  which  among  the 
generality  of  educated  readers  is  more  highly  prized  than  any 
other  work  of  the  Poet.  But  it  will  be  useful  to  bring  together 
the  leading  facts  in  the  bibliography  of  Adonais,  and  the  more 
important  of  the  references  to  that  poem  to  be  gathered  from 
Shelley's  published  letters. 

Under  date  June  the  8th,  1821,  Shelley  wrote  to  Mr.  Charles 
Oilier,  from  Pisa,  the  following  letter,  which  is  given  in  the 
Shelley  Memorials— 1859— pp.  155,  156: — 

"  DEAR  Sir, — You  may  announce  for  publication  a  poem 
entitled  Adonais.  It  is  a  lament  on  the  death  of  poor  Keats, 
with  some  interposed  stabs  on  the  assassins  of  his  peace  and 
of  his  fame  ;  and  will  be  preceded  by  a  criticism l  on  Hyperion, 
asserting  the  due  claims  which  that  fragment  gives  him  to  the 
rank  which  I  have  assigned  him.     My  poem  is  finished,  and 

1  It  would  seem  from  this  passage,  that  he  at  first  meant  the  original  edition  to 
include  a  criticism,  whether  printed  at  Pisa  or  in  London. 


consists  of  about  forty  Spenser  stanzas.1  I  shall  send  it  you, 
either  printed  at  Pisa,  or  transcribed  in  such  a  manner  as  it  shall 
be  difficult  for  the  reviser  to  leave  such  errors  as  assist  the 
obscurity  of  the  Prometheus.  But,  in  case  I  send  it  printed, 
it  will  be  merely  that  mistakes  may  be  avoided  ;  [so]  that  I  shall 
only  have  a  few  copies  struck  off  in  the  cheapest  manner. 

"  If  you  have  interest  enough  in  the  subject,  I  could  wish  that 
you  inquired  of  some  of  the  friends  and  relations  of  Keats 
respecting  the  circumstances  of  his  death,  and  could  transmit  me 
any  information  you  may  be  able  to  collect,  and  especially  as  to 
the  degree  in  which,  as  I  am  assured,  the  brutal  attack  in  the 
Quarterly  Review  excited  the  disease  by  which  he  perished.2 

"  I  have  received  no  answer  to  my  last  letter  to  you.  Have 
you  received  my  contribution  3  to  your  Magazine  ? 4 

•  Dear  Sir, 

"  Yours  very  sincerely, 
"P.  B.  Shelley." 

Shelley  speedily  decided  which  course  to  follow,  and  put  his 
Elegy  to  press  at  Pisa,  where  it  was  '  printed  with  the  types  of 

1  As  a  matter  of  fact  it  consists  of  fifty-five  stanzas  ;  so  that  its  author  must 
have  again  varied  and  enlarged  his  plan  after  the  first  draft  of  the  poem  was 

2  This  passage  proves  very  plainly  how  little  knowledge  Shelley  really  had  of  the 
facts  of  the  case  when  composing  Adonais.  Had  he,  before  committing  his  work  to 
press,  waited  to  inquire  how  far  the  accounts  communicated  to  him  *  were  correct  in 
their  details,  he  would  doubtless  have  modified  in  a  very  considerable  degree  the 
measure  of  wrath  he  poured  upon  the  hostile  reviewers  ;  although,  after  all  he  had 
himself  suffered  at  the  hands  of  'these  wretched  men,'  it  is  unlikely  he  would 
have  let  slip  altogether  the  opportunity  thus  presented  of  showing  them  the  full 
extent  of  his  antipathy  and  disregard. 

*  [By  'a  friend  who  had  derived  his  information  from  Colonel  Finch.'  See  a  letter 
to  Severn — dated  '  Pisa,  Nov.  29th,." 1 821.' — in  Lord  Houghton's  Life,  Letters,  and 
Literary  Remains,  of  John  Keats.  Moxon,:i848,  vol.  ii.,  p.  101.  Given  also  by 
Mr.  Buxton  Forman  in  his  Library  edition  of  Shelley's  Works,  1880,  vol.  iii.,  p.  8.] 

3  A  Defence  of  Poetry,  designed  for  '  an  antidote  to '  Peacock's  The  Four  Ages  of 
Poetry.  For  a  full  account  of  this  essay,  see  Shelley's  Works,  Forman's  edition, 
1880,  vol.  vii.,  p.  98. 

*  Ollicr's  Literary  Miscellany. 


Didot.'  The  result  was  the  very  sightly  quarto,  of  which  the 
present  is  as  exact  a  reproduction  as  the  Society  can  obtain. 
Its  collation  is — 

Adonais  /  an  Elegy  on  the  death  of  John  Keats,  / 
author  of  Endymion,  Hyperion  etc.  /  By  /  Percy. 
B.  Shelley  /  **** ]  /  Pisa  /  with  the  types  of  Didot  / 
Small  quarto ;    pp.    i — v   (of  which  pp.   iii — v.   form 
the  preface) ;  and  pp.  7 — 25  of  text. 
It  was   issued   in   blue   paper  wrappers,  with   woodcut   and 
ornamental  border. 

The  quarto  was  offered  for  sale  at  the  price  of  3s.  6d.,  and  was 
obtainable  for  this  by  no  means  extravagant  sum  at  least  as  late 
as  1824  (and  most  probably  for  some  time  afterwards),  for  the 
List  of  Mr.  Shelley's  Previous  Works,  which  may  be  had  of  the 
Publis/iers  of  the  " Posthumous  Poems" '  printed  at  the  back  of 
the  list  of  errata  for  that  volume,  includes  ?  Adonais,  4to, 
sewed,  $s.  6d.'  Now  the  pamphlet  is  one  of  the  scarcest 
and  most  highly  prized  of  the  original  editions  of  Shelley's 

The  first  English  edition  of  Adonais  was  printed  at  Cambridge 
in  1829  at  the  instance  of  Lord  Houghton  and  Arthur  Hallam, 
and  was  edited  from  a  copy  of  the  original  Pisa  edition  brought 
by  the  latter  from  Italy. 

1  Here  stands  a  quotation  from  Tlato. 


The  collation  of  the  Cambridge  edition  is — 

Adonais.  /  An  Elegy  /  on  the  /  Death  of  John 
Keats,  /  author  of  Endymion,  Hyperion,  etc.  /  By 
/  Percy  B.  Shelley.  /  **** *  /  Cambridge  :  /  printed 
by  W.  Metcalfe,  /  and  sold  by  Messrs.  Gee  and 
Bridges,  Market-Hill.  /  mdcccxxix. 

Octavo ;   pp.  i — viii  (of  which  pp.    v — viii.   form   the 

preface);  and  pp.  I — 28  of  text.2 

The    book   was   issued   in   paper  wrappers    (without    either 
ornamentation  or  lettering),  which  in  some  copies  are  Blue  and 

in  others  Green. 

The  following  notice  is  printed  on  a  blank  leaf,  which  counts 
as  pp.  3-4  :— 

"  The  present  Edition  is  an  exact  reprint  (a  few 
typographical  errors  only  being  corrected)  of  the  first 
edition  of  the  'Adonais,' — dated  'Pisa,  with  the  types 
of  Didot,  mdcccxxi.' " 

I  have  not  been  able  to  ascertain  definitely  what  was  the 
published  price  of  this  pamphlet ;  no  figure  is  printed  on  it,  and 
no  advertisement  offering  it  for  sale  has  come  before  me,  but  I 
have  fair  reason  for  believing  that  it  was  originally  offered  at 
Eighteenpence.  Whether  the  issue  was  a  large  or  small  one 
there  are  no  definite  means  of  ascertaining,  but  so  far  as  actual 
scarcity  goes,  fewer  copies  of  it  than  of  the  Pisa  edition  certainly 
come  into  the  market. 

1  Here  stands  the  quotation  from  Plato. 

3  A  facsimile  of  the  title-page  will  be  found  at  the  close  of  this  introduction. 


Not  until  1876  was  Shelley's  wish  for  a  London  edition  of  his 
Elegy  fulfilled.  In  that  year  Mr.  H.  Buxton  Forman  issued  for 
private  circulation 1  an  edition  of  the  Adonais,  edited  by  himself 
with  Notes  and  a  brief  Introduction.  The  title-page  is  a 
reproduction  of  the  original  quarto,  and  the  collation  is 
as  follows  : — 

Octavo ;  pp.  1 — 8  (of  which  p.  2  contains  the  editor's 
Introduction,  and  pp.  5 — 8  Shelley's  Preface)  ;  and 
pp.  9 — 29  of  text. 

These  three  are  the  only  separate  editions — in  English — of 
the  Adonais  with  which  I  am  acquainted.  The  Elegy  was, 
however,  printed  in  The  Literary  Chronicle  and  Weekly  Review  2 
of  Saturday,  December  the  1st,  1821,  where  it  occupies  pp. 
751 — 754.  The  poem  (which  forms  the  opening  article  of  the 
number)  was  preceded  by  the  following  editorial  note : — 

'Through  the  kindness  of  a  friend,  we  have  been  favoured 
with  the  latest  production  of  a  gentleman  of  no  ordinary  genius, 
Mr.  Bysshe  Shelley.  It  is  an  elegy  on  the  death  of  a  youthful 
poet  of  considerable  promise,  Mr.  Keats,  and  was  printed  at 
Pisa.  As  the  copy  now  before  us  is,  perhaps,  the  only  one  that 
has  reached  England,  and  the  subject  is  one  that  will  excite 
much  interest,  we  shall  print  the  whole  of  it.' 

I  have  not  myself  collated  the  text  as  given  in  The  Literary 
Chronicle,  but  Mr.  Buxton  Forman  informs  me  that  the  promise 

1  The  number  of  copies  printed  was  limited,  five  being  upon  vellum,  twenty-five 
upon  Whatman's  hand-made  paper,  and  fifty  upon  ordinary  paper.  Facing  the  title- 
page  of  the  vellum  and  Whatman  paper  copies  is  placed  an  etching  of  "Shelley's 
Grave  "  by  W.  B.  Scott. 

3  No.  133,  quarto.     Published  by  J.  Limbird,  355,  Strand. 


to  'print  the  whole  of  it'  was  not  fulfilled,  six  stanzas  (19 — 24) 
being  omitted.  It  has  since  appeared  in  every  edition  of 
Shelley's  Poetical  Works,  and  is  also  included — either  in  whole 
or  in  part — in  most  volumes  of  Selections  from  his  poetry. 

It  is  interesting  to  find  that  so  soon  as  1830  Shelley's  works 
must  have  been  receiving  considerable  attention  from  educated 
Italians ;  for  in  that  year  appeared  a  neat  and  well-printed 
volume,  of  which  the  collation  is  as  follows : — 

Adone  /  Nella  Morte  /  di  /  Giovanni  Keats  / 
Autore  dell'  Endimione,  Iperione,  &c.  &c.  &c.  / 
Elegia  /  di  /  Percy  Bishe  Shelley  /  tradotta  /  da  / 
L.  A.  Damaso  Pareto.  /  *****  /  Genova  /  dalla  tipo- 
grafia  Pellas.  /  mdcccxxx. 

Small  quarto;  pp.  1—74. 

Pp.    5 — 35    are  occupied  by  a   "  Disgorso  /  sulla  vita 

e  sulle  poesie  /  di  /  Percy  Bishe  Shelley." 
The  translation  of  the  Adonais  itself  forms  pp.  41 — 74. 

No  student  of  Adonais  can  afford  to  pass  over  the  collection 
of  Fragments — both  of  the  Poem  and  of  the  Preface — deciphered 
by  Dr.  Garnett  in  1862  during  the  course  of  his  fruitful  search 
amongst  the  Shelley  Manuscripts  preserved  at  Boscombe 
Manor.  They  were  first  given  in  the  Relics  of  Shelley  (Moxon, 
1862;  pp.  48 — 52),  from  which  volume  they  are  reprinted 
verbatim  at  the  end  of  this  Introduction. 

1  Flere  stands  the  following  quotation  : — 

■  .  .  .  .  Sequiturque  patrem  non  passibus  sequis.' 



With  regard  to  the  text  of  the  first — Pisa — edition  of  Adonais, 
I  think  we  may  fairly  accord  to  it  the  honour  of  being  less 
corrupt  than  that  of  the  original  editions  of  any  of  Shelley's 
books.  Its  verbal  inaccuracies  are  few,  and — comparatively 
speaking — of  no  importance.1  Nor  is  this  surprising  when  we 
'consider  the  care  which,  as  we  learn  from  his  published  letters, 
Shelley  bestowed  upon  both  its  composition  and  its  correction. 
There  are,  however,  three  important  variations  from  the  reading 
of  the  first  edition  of  1821  which  are  unhesitatingly  accepted 
even  by  such  jealous  editors  as  Messrs.  Rossetti  and  Forman, 
both  of  whom  incorporate  them  in  the  text  of  their  respective 
editions.  They  were  introduced  by  Mrs.  Shelley  in  her  4 
vol.  edition  of  1839,  and  as  there  seems  no  reason  for  doubting 
that  she  had  authority  for  the  changes,  it  is  well,  I  think,  to 
note  them  here. 

In  stanza  viii.  the  last  line  originally  stood  thus : — 

"  (and  the  law) 
Of  mortal  change,  shall  fill  the  grave  which  is  her  maw." 

As  given  by  Mrs.  Shelley  it  reads : — 

11  Of  change,  shall  o'er  his  sleep  the  mortal  curtain  draw." 

In  stanza  xvi.  line  eight  originally  ran  thus  : — 

"Amid  the  drooping  comrades  of  their  youth." 

In  Mrs.  Shelley's  revision  we  find  : — 

' '  Amid  the  faint  companions  of  their  youth. " 

1  With  a  single  exception — that  of  the  pronoun  their  being  misspelt  t/iier,  in  the 
second  line  of  Stanza  XLV, — these  inaccuracies  are  confined  to  the  pointing. 


Again,  in  the  quarto  the  last  line  of  stanza  xxviii.  is : — 

"  They  fawn  on  the  proud  feet  that  spurn  them  as  they  go." 

As  printed  by  Mrs.  Shelley  it  is  : — 

"  They  fawn  on  the  proud  feet  that  spurn  them  lying  low." 

In  connexion  with  the  subject  of  Text,  there  is  a  singular 
coincidence  which  I  do  not  remember  to  have  seen  pointed  out 
elsewhere,  and  which  well  deserves  noting  specially. 

Lines  four  and  five  of  the  nineteenth  stanza  of  Adonais  are 
as  follows  : — 

"  From  the  great  morning  of  the  world  when  first    .  .- 
God  dawned  on  Chaos,"  &c. 

If  we  turn  to  Hellas,  printed  in  the  following  year  (1822),  we 
find  the  same  thought  reproduced  in  words  which  are  almost 
identical : — 

"  In  the  great  morning  of  the  world, 
The  spirit  of  God  with  might  unftirl'd 
The  flag  of  Freedom  over  Chaos,"  &c. — 

Hellas,  page  5,  lines  13 — 15. 

■ » 

The  sad  story  of  the  death  of  John  Keats,  and  the  deep  and 
lasting  impression  which  that  event  made  upon  Shelley,  are  too 
well  known  to  need  repeating  here ;  they  have  been  amplified 
abundantly — if  not  to  excess — in  the  many  biographical  works, 
and  articles  of  a  biographical  nature  contributed  to  periodical 
literature,  relating  to  either  poet,  which  have  already  been  given 
to  the  world.  But  it  may,  perhaps,  be  well  to  add  a  word 
or   two  in  reference  to  the  date  of  production  of  Adonais. 

Keats  died  on  the  23rd  of  February,  1821  ;  and  full  three 
months  elapsed  before  Shelley  projected  the  composition  of  a 
poem  in  commemoration  of  his  untimely  end,  or  at  all  events 


before  he  put  such  project  into  actual  execution.  In  a  letter 
to  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Gisborne,  dated  '  Bagni,  Tuesday  Evening, 
{June  $tk,  1821.)/  he  wrote:— 1 

"  I  have  been  engaged  these  last  days  in  composing  a  poem 
on  the  death  of  Keats,  which  will  shortly  be  finished ;  and  I 
anticipate  the  pleasure  of  reading  it  to  you,  as  some  of  the 
very  few  persons  who  will  be  interested  in  it  and  understand  it. 
It  is  a  highly-wrought  piece  of  art,  and  perhaps  better,  in  point 
of  composition,  than  anything  I  have  written." 

Again,  under  date  'Pisa,  Saturday,  {June  i6tn,  1821.),'  he 
wrote  to  John  Gisborne  : — 2 

"  As  it  is,  I  have  finished  my  Elegy ;  and  this  day  I  send  it 
to  the  press  at  Pisa.  You  shall  have  a  copy  the  moment  it  is 
completed.  I  think  it  will  please  you.  I  have  dipped  my  pen 
in  consuming  fire  for  his  [Keats']  destroyers ;  otherwise  the  style 
is  clear  and  solemn." 

These  passages  seem  to  imply  that  the  composition  of  the 
poem  extended  over  about  a  fortnight ;  and  yet  as  we  shall  see 
by  the  following  extract  from  another  letter  to  the  Gisbornes, 
dated  '  Bagni,  Friday  night,  (July  i"$tk,  1821.)',  it  remained  nearly 
a  month — say  twenty-seven  days — in  the  printer's  hands,  unless 
indeed,  Shelley  failed  to  send  it  to  the  printer's  on  the  16th, 
which  is  scarcely  probable  in  face  of  the  very  precise  manner 
in  which  he  wrote  : — 

"  A  thousand  thanks  for  your  maps  ;  in  return  for  which  I 
send  you  the  only  copy  of  Adonais  the  printer  has  yet 
delivered."  3 

1  See  Essays,  Letters  from  Abroad,  &c,  1840,  vol.  ii.  p.  293. 
3  Ibid.  p.  296.  •  Ibid.  p.  298. 


This — as  Mr.  Forman  has  pointed  out 1 — is  a  considerable 
time  for  the  production  of  so  slight  a  book  ;  and  indicates  pretty 
clearly  what  care  Shelley  must  have  devoted  to  its  correction 
during  its  passage  through  the  press.  In  fact  Adonais  evidently 
received  from  its  author  an  amount  of  attention  which  we  have 
ample  reason  for  concluding  he  did  not  trouble  himself  to 
bestow  upon  the  majority  of  his  other  books;  excluding,  of 
course,  the  labour  entailed  by  the  changing  of  Laon  and  Cythna 
into  The  Revolt  of  Islam,  and  the  forming  of  portions  of  Queen 
Mab  into  The  Damon  of  tJie   World. 

I  have  yet  to  quote  two  short  passages  from  Shelley's 
letters  to  Oilier — his  London  publisher — in  which  he  states 
distinctly  what  place  his  Elegy  occupied  in  his  own  opinion ; 
an  opinion  which,  considering  the  amount  of  critical  acumen 
he  undoubtedly  possessed,  we  cannot  entirely  pass  over  or 
neglect     Under  date  '  Pisa,  September  25th,  1821,'  he  writes—  2 

"  The  Adonais,  in  spite  of  its  mysticism,  is  the  least  imperfect 
of  my  compositions,  and,  as  the  image  of  my  regret  and  honour 
for  poor  Keats,  I  wish  it  to  be  so.  I  shall  write  to  you, 
probably,  by  next  post  on  the  subject  of  that  poem,  and 
should  have  sent  the  promised  criticism  for  the  second  edition, 
had  I  not  mislaid,  and  in  vain  sought  for,  the  volume  that 
contains  Hyperion'' 3 

1  See  Shelley's  Works,  Forman's  edition,  1880,  vol.  iii.  p.  2. 

2  See  the  Shelley  Memorials,  1859,  p.  159. 

8  Lamia,  Isabella,  &c,  1820.  Is  it  possible  that  to  the  accidental  mislaying  of 
this  volume  we  are  to  ascribe  the  loss  of  a  second — London — edition  of  Adonais  ;  an 
edition  rendered  invaluable,  as  it  would  beyond  doubt  have  been,  by  the  criticism  with 
which  Shelley  purposed  to  preface  it  ?  ' 


Again  —  under  date  'Pisa,  November  wth,  182 1,' — he 
writes : — 

"  Do  not  forget  my  other  questions.  I  am  especially  curious 
to  hear  the  fate  of  Adonais.  I  confess  I  should  be  surprised 
if  that  poem  were  born  to  an  immortality  of  oblivion." 1 

Such  is  the  history  of  Shelley's  masterpiece,  so  far  as  the 
facts  connected  with  its  production  are  known  to  me.  Received 
upon  its  publication  with  the  usual  howl  of  ignorant  derision 
with  which  critics  of  a  certain  school  were  wont  to  indulge 
themselves  upon  the  appearance  of  a  new  work  from  Shelley's 
pen,2  it  has  lived  to  take  its  rightful  place  in  the  foremost 
rank  of  English  Elegiac  Verse  (a  position  it  can  scarcely 
fail  to  hold),  and  to  be  known  and  loved  by  thousands  of 
thoughtful  and  appreciative  readers. 

It  only  remains  still  to  add,  as  a  minor  bibliographical 
detail  which  may  prove  of  service  to  some  collectors,  that  the 
exact  dimensions  of  uncut  copies  of  the  two  early  editions  of 
Adonais  are — 

Pisa,  1 82 1,  edition  :  io|  x  j\  inches. 
Cambridge,  1829,  edition  :  8|  X  $|  inches. 
Of  both  pamphlets  the  British  Museum  possesses  copies. 

J  See  the  Shelley  Memorials,  1859,  p.  160. 

2  One  reviewer,  endowed  with  an  amount  of  dulness  somewhat  beyond  the  average, 
ventured — in  The  Literary  Gazette,  Saturday,  December  Wi,  1821,  p.  773 — the  egotistic 
and  self-satisfied  opinion  that  "The  poetry  of  the  work  is  contemptible — a  mere  collection 
of  bloated  words  heaped  on  each  other  without  order,  harmony,  or  meaning  ;  the  refuse 
of  a  schoolboy's  common-place  book,  full  of  the  vulgarisms  of  pastoral  poetry,  yellow 
gems  and  blue  stars,  bright  Phoebus  and  rosy-fingered  Aurora ;  and  of  this  stuff  is 
Keats's  wretched  Elegy  compiled."  What  writer,  be  his  mental  perception  ever  so 
obtuse,  would  venture  to-day  to  confess  to  an  opinion  at  once  so  inappreciative  and  so 
absurd  ? 



To  H.  Buxton  Forman,  Esq.,  whose  name  is  so  well  known 
in  connexion  with  Shelley  Bibliography,  I  have  to  return 
my  heartiest  thanks  for  the  kind  assistance  he  has  rendered 
me  in  the  compilation  of  these  ''ntroductory  notes. 

Thomas  J.  Wise. 

127,  Devonshire  Road, 
Hollowav,  N. 



[Among  Shelley's  MSS.  is  a  fair  copy  of  the  "  Defence  of  Poetry,"  apparently 
damaged  by  sea-water,  and  illegible  in  many  places.  Being  prepared  for  the  printer, 
it  is  written  on  one  side  of  the  paper  only;  on  the  blank  pages,  but  frequently 
undecipherable  for  the  reason  just  indicated,  are  many  passages  intended  for,  but 
eventually  omitted  from,  the  preface  to  "Adonais."  Their  autobiographical  value 
requires  no  comment.] 

.  .  .  The  expression  of  my  indignation  and  sympathy.  I  will 
allow  myself  a  first  and  last  word  on  the  subject  of  calumny  as 
it  relates  to  me.  As  an  author  I  have  dared  and  invited  censure. 
If  I  understand  myself,  I  have  written  neither  for  profit  nor  for 
fame.  I  have  employed  my  poetical  compositions  and  publi- 
cations simply  as  the  instruments  of  that  sympathy  between 
myself  and  others  which  the  ardent  and  unbounded  love  I 
cherished  for  my  kind  incited  me  to  acquire.  I  expected  all 
sorts  of  stupidity  and  insolent  contempt  from  those  .  .  . 

.  .  .  These  compositions  (excepting  the  tragedy  of  the  "  Cenci," 
which  was  written  rather  to  try  my  powers,  than  to  unburthen 
my  full  heart)  are  insufficiently  .  .  .  commendation  than  perhaps 
they  deserve,  even  from  their  bitterest  enemies ;  but  they  have 
not  attained  any  corresponding  popularity.  As  a  man,  I  shrink 
from  notice  and  regard  ;  the  ebb  and  flow  of  the  world  vexes 
me ;  I  desire  to  be  left  in  peace.  Persecution,  contumely,  and 
calumny,  have  been  heaped  upon  me  in  profuse  measure ;  and 
domestic  conspiracy  and  legal  oppression  have  violated  in  my 
person  the  most  sacred  rights  of  nature  and  humanity.  The 
bigot  will  say  it  was  the  recompence  of  my  errors ;  the  man 
of  the  world  will  call  it  the  result  of  my  imprudence  ;  but  never 
upon  one  head  .  .  . 

.  .  .  Reviewers,  with  some  rare  exceptions,  are  a  most  stupid 
and  malignant  race.     As  a  bankrupt  thief  turns  thieftaker  in 

1  Reprinted  from  : — 

Relics  of  Shelley.  /  Edited  by  /  Richard  Garnett.   f  London:  /  Edivatd 
Moxon  <&•»  Co.,  Dover  Street.  / 1862.        Small  octavo,  pp.  i—xvi.  andi—nji. 


despair,  so  an  unsuccessful  author  turns  critic.  But  a  young 
spirit  panting  for  fame,  doubtful  of  its  powers,  and  certain  only 
of  its  aspirations,  is  ill-qualified  to  assign  its  true  value  to  the 
sneer  of  this  world.  He  knows  not  that  such  stuff  as  this  is  of 
the  abortive  and  monstrous  births  which  time  consumes  as  fast 
as  it  produces.  He  sees  the  truth  and  falsehood,  the  merits 
and  demerits,  of  his  case  inextricably  entangled.  .  .  No  personal 
offence  should  have  drawn  from  me  this  public  comment  upon 
such  stuff  .  .  . 

The  offence  of  this  poor  victim*  seems  to  have  consisted 
solely  in  his  intimacy  with  Leigh  Hunt,  Mr.  Hazlitt,  and  some 
other  enemies  of  despotism  and  superstition.  My  friend  Hunt 
has  a  very  hard  skull  to  crack,  and  will  take  a  deal  of  killing. 
I  do  not  know  much  of  Mr.  Hazlitt,  but  .  .  . 

...  I  knew  personally  but  little  of  Keats  ;  but  on  the  news 
of  his  situation  I  wrote  to  him,  suggesting  the  propriety  of 
trying  the  Italian  climate,  and  inviting  him  to  join  me.  Unfor- 
tunately he  did  not  allow  me  .  .  . 

[Several  cancelled  passages  of  the  "Adonais"  have  been  met  with  in  Shelley's  note- 
books. He  appears  to  have  originally  framed  his  conception  on  a  larger  scale  than  he 
eventually  found  practicable.  The  passage  in  which  the  contemporary  minstrels  are 
introduced  as  mourning  for  Adonais,  would  have  been  considerably  extended,  and  the 
characteristics  of  each  delineated  at  some  length.  It  must,  however,  have  occurred 
to  him  that  the  parenthesis  would  be  too  long,  and  would  tend  to  distract  the  reader's 
attention  from  the  main  subject  Nothing,  therefore,  of  the  original  draft  was  allowed 
to  subsist,  but  the  four  incomparable  stanzas  descriptive  of  himself  ( "  Mid  others  of  less 
note,"  &c).     A  fifth  was  cancelled,  which  ran  as  follows : — ] 

And  ever  as  he  went  he  swept  a  lyre 
Of  unaccustomed  shape,  and        strings 

*  It  is  hardly  necessary  to  repeat  what  Mr.  Milnes  [Lord  Houghton]  has  so  clearly 
established,  that  Shelley  very  greatly  overrated  the  effect  which  the  Quarterly's1  attack 
produced  upon  Keats.     The  error,  however,  was  almost  universal  at  the  time. 

1  See  The  Quarterly  Review,  1818,  vol.  xix.,  pp.  204-208.  Review  of  * Endymion: 
A  Poetic  Romance,  1S18.'  A  barbarous  piece  of  writing,  with  the  authorship  of 
which  Gifford  is  usually,  and  I  think  justly,  charged. — T.  J.  W. 


Now  like  the  of  impetuous  fire, 

Which  shakes  the  forest  with  its  murmurings, 

Now  like  the  rush  of  the  aerial  wings 

Of  the  enamoured  wind  among  the  treen, 

Whispering  unimaginable  things, 

And  dying  on  the  streams  of  dew  serene, 

Which  feed  the  unmown  meads  with  ever-during  green. 

[Several  stanzas  relating  to  Byron  and  Moore  are  too  imperfect  for  publication. 
The  following  refers  to  the  latter  : — ] 

And  the  green  Paradise  which  western  waves 

Embosom  in  their  ever-wailing  sweep, 

Talking  of  freedom  to  their  tongueless  caves, 

Or  to  the  spirits  which  within  them  keep 

A  record  of  the  wrongs  which,  though  they  sleep, 

Die  not,  but  dream  of  retribution,  heard 

His  hymns,  and  echoing  them  from  steep  to  steep, 


[Leigh  Hunt  was  thus  described  : — ] 

And  then  came  one  of  sweet  and  earnest  looks, 

Whose  soft  smiles  to  his  dark  and  night-like  eyes 

Were  as  the  clear  and  ever-living  brooks 

Are  to  the  obscure  fountains  whence  they  rise, 

Showing  how  pure  they  are  :  a  Paradise 

Of  happy  truth  upon  his  forehead  low 

Lay,  making  wisdom  lovely,  in  the  guise 

Of  earth-awakening  morn  upon  the  brow 

Of  star-deserted  heaven,  while  ocean  gleams  below. 

His  song,  though  very  sweet,  was  low  and  faint, 
A  simple  strain 


[The  following  lines  were  also  written  for  the  "  Adonais  " : — ] 1 

A  mighty  Phantasm,  half  concealed 
In  darkness  of  his  own  exceeding  light, 
Which  clothed  his  awful  presence  unrevealed, 
Charioted  on  the  night 

Of  thunder-smoke,  whose  skirts  were  chrysolite. 

And  like  a  sudden  meteor,  which  outstrips 
The  splendour-winged  chariot  of  the  sun, 

The  armies  of  the  golden  stars,  each  one 
Pavilioned  in  its  tent  of  light — all  strewn 
Over  the  chasms  of  blue  night 

1  "Of  this  final  fragment" — says  Mr.  Buxton  Forman  (Shelley's  Works,  1880, 
vol.  iii.  p.  33) — "  Mr.  Garnett  offers  no  explanation ;  but  surely  we  may,  without 
hesitation,  connect  the  name  of  Samuel  Taylor  Coleridge  with  it.  Considering  the 
wholly  ideal  manner  in  which  other  poets  are  dealt  with  in  Adonais,  the  expressions 
here  used  are  not  disproportionate  when  applied  to  Coleridge ;  and  the  passage 
corresponds  closely  with  the  lines  in  the  Letter  to  Maria  Gisborne : 

You  will  see  Coleridge — he  who  sits  obscure 
In  the  exceeding  lustre,  and  the  pure 
Intense  irradiation  of  a  mind, 
Which  with  its  own  internal  lightning  blind 
Flags  wearily  through  darkness  and  despair 
— A  cloud-encircled  meteor  of  the  air — 
A  hooded  eagle  among  blinking  owls. — " 

Letter  to  Maria  Gisborne,  lines  202 — 208. 

Certainly  this  identification  of  the  "mighty  Phantasm"  has  been  questioned;  but 
I  fail  to  see  to  whom  else  the  description  could  possibly  apply,  and  must  record  my 
own  opinion  as  upholding  that  of  Mr.  Forman. — T.  J.  W. 



3n    <£\c%» 

ON    THE 





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PRINTED     BY     W.     METCALFE, 


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Qap/xaicov  fade,  BiW,  non  aov  arofia,  <papfiaKov  c«5ec" 
Hug  tev  toIq  xjiikeirai  TroTsfipafie,  kovk  EyKvKavQrf, 
Tig  3c  flpoTOQ  Toaaovrov  avafiepoc,   77  Ktpaoai  toi, 
H  dovyai  \a\e ovn  to  <j>a  n/xo  ico  v  ;   tKQvyev  &dav . 

Moschtjs,  Epitaph.  Biow. 

It  is  my  intention  to  subjoin  to  the  London  edition  of  this 
poem,  a  criticism  upon  the  claims  of  its  lamented  object 
to  be  classed  among  the  writers  of  the  highest  genius 
who  have  adorned  our  age.  My  known  repugnance  to  the 
narrow  principles  of  taste  on  which  several  of  his  earlier 
compositions  were  modelled,  prove,  at  least  that  I  am 
an  impartial  judge.  I  consider  the  fragment  of  Hyperion, 
as  second  to  nothing  that  was  ever  produced  by  a  writer 
of  the  same  years. 

John  Keats,  died  at  Rome  of  a  consumption,  in  his 
twenty-fourth  year,  on  the  —  of —  1821;  and  was  buried 
in  the  romantic  and  lonely  cemetery  of  the  protestants  in 
that  city,  under  the  pyramid  which  is  the  tomb  of  Cestius, 
and  the  massy  walls  and  towers,  now  mouldering  and 
desolate,  which  formed  the  circuit  of  ancient  Rome.  The 
cemetery  is  an  open  space  among  the  ruins  covered  in 

winter  with  violets  and  daisies.  It  might  make  one  in  love 
with  death,  to  think  that  one  should  be  buried  in  so 
sweet  a  place. 

The  genius  of  the  lamented  person  to  whose  memory 
I  have  dedicated  these  unworthy  verses,  was  not  less  deli- 
cate and  fragile  than  it  was  beautiful ;  and  where  canker- 
worms  abound,  what  wonder,  if  it's  young  flower  was 
blighted  in  the  bud?  Thesavage  criticism  on  his  Endymion, 
which  appeared  in  the  Quarterly  Review,  produced  the 
most  violent  effect  on  his  susceptible  mind ;  the  agitation 
thus  originated  ended  in  the  rupture  of  a  blood-vessel 
in  the  lungs;  a  rapid  consumption  ensued,  and  the  suc- 
ceeding acknowledgements  from  more  candid  critics,  of 
the  true  greatness  of  his  powers,  were  ineffectual  to  heal 
the  wound  thus  wantonly  inflicted. 

It  may  be  well  said,  that  these  wretched  men  know 
not  what  they  do.  They  scatter  their  insults  and  their 
slanders  without  heed  as  to  whether  the  poisoned  shaft 
lights  on  a  heart  made  callous  by  many  blows,  or  one, 
like  Keats's  composed  of  more  penetrable  stuff.  One  of 
their  associates,  is,  to  my  knowledge,  a  most  base  and 
unprincipled  calumniator.  As  to  "  Endymion  "  ;  was  it  a 
poem,  whatever  might  be  it's  defects,  to  be  treated  con- 
temptuously by  those  who  had  celebrated  with  various 
degrees  of  complacency  and  panegyric,  "  Paris,  "  and 
"  Woman  " ,  and  a  "  Syrian  Tale  " ,  and  Mrs.  Lefanu,  and 
Mr.  Barrett,  and  Mr.  Howard  Payne,  and  a  long  list  of 
the  illustrious  obscure  ?  Are  these  the  men,  who  in  their 
venal  good  nature,  presumed  to  draw  a  parallel  between 
the  Rev.  Mr.  Milman  and  Lord  Byron  ?  What  gnat  did 
they  strain  at  here,  after  having  swallowed  all  those 
camels?  Against  what  woman  taken  in  adultery,  dares  the 


foremost  of  these  literary  prostitutes  to  cast  his  oppro- 
brious stone  ?  Miserable  man !  you,  one  of  the  meanest, 
have  wantonly  defaced  one  of  the  noblest  specimens  of  the 
workmanship  of  God.  Nor  shall  it  be  your  excuse,  that, 
murderer  as  you  are,  you  have  spoken  daggers,  but  used 

The  circumstances  of  the  closing  scene  of  poor  Keats's 
life  were  not  made  known  to  me  until  the  Elegy  was  ready 
for  the  press.  I  am  given  to  understand  that  the  wound 
which  his  sensitive  spirit  had  received  from  the  criticism 
of  Endymion,  was  exasperated  by  the  bitter  sense  of 
unrequited  benefits  ;  the  poor  fellow  seems  to  have  been 
hooted  from  the  stage  of  life,  no  less  by  those  on  whom 
he  had  wasted  the  promise  of  his  genius,  than  those  on 
whom  he  had  lavished  his  fortune  and  his  care.  He  was 
accompanied  to  Rome,  and  attended  in  his  last  illness  by 
Mr.  Severn,  a  young  artist  of  the  highest  promise,  who, 

I  have  been  informed  "  almost  risked  his  own  life,  and 
"  sacrificed  every  prospect  to  unwearied  attendance  upon 

II  his  dying  friend .  "  Had  I  known  these  circumstances 
before  the  completion  of  my  poem,  I  should  have  been 
tempted  to  add  my  feeble  tribute  of  applause  to  the  more 
solid  recompense  which  the  virtuous  man  finds  in  the 
recollection  of  his  own  motives.  Mr.  Severn  can  dispense 
with  a  reward  from  "  such  stuff  as  dreams  are  made  of.  " 
His  conduct  is  a  golden  augury  of  the  success  of  his  future 
career — may  the  unextinguished  Spirit  of  his  illustrious 
friend  animate  the  creations  of  his  pencil,  and  plead 
against  Oblivion  for  his  name ! 



X  weep  for  Adonais  —  he  is  dead  ! 

O,  weep  for  Adonais !  though  our  tears 

Thaw  not  the  frost  which  binds  so  dear  a  head  ! 

And  thou,  sad  Hour,  selected  from  all  years 

To  mourn  our  loss,  rouse  thy  obscure  compeers, 

And  teach  them  thine  own  sorrow,  say :  with  me 

Died  Adonais ;  till  the  Future  dares 

Forget  the  Past,  his  fate  and  fame  shall  be 

An  echo  and  a  light  unto  eternity ! 

Where  wert  thou  mighty  Mother,  when  he  lay, 
When  thy  Son  lay,  pierced  by  the  shaft  which  flies 
In  darkness  ?  where  was  lorn  Urania 
When  Adonais  died4?  With  veiled  eyes, 
'Mid  listening  Echoes,  in  her  Paradise 
She  sate,  while  one,  with  soft  enamoured  breath, 
Rekindled  all  the  fading  melodies, 
With  which,  like  flowers  that  mock  the  corse  beneath, 
He  had  adorned  and  hid  the  coming  bulk  of  death. 


O,  weep  for  Adonais  —  he  is  dead  ! 

Wake,  melancholy  Mother,  wake  and  weep  ! 

Yet  wherefore  ?  Quench  within  their  burning  bed 

Thy  fiery  tears,  and  let  thy  loud  heart  keep 

Like  his,  a  mute  and  uncomplaining  sleep; 

For  he  is  gone,  where  all  things  wise  and  fair 

Descend;  —  oh,  dream  not  that  the  amorous  Deep 

Will  yet  restore  him  to  the  vital  air ; 

Death  feeds  on  his  mute  voice,  and  laughs  at  our  despair. 

Most  musical  of  mourners ,  weep  again  ! 
Lament  anew,  Urania !  —  He  died, 
Who  was  the  Sire  of  an  immortal  strain, 
Blind,  old,  and  lonely,  when  his  country's  pride, 
The  priest,  the  slave,  and  the  liberticide, 
Trampled  and  mocked  with  many  a  loathed  rite 
Of  lust  and  blood;  he  went,  unterrified, 
Into  the  gulf  of  death ;  but  his  clear  Sprite 
Yet  reigns  o'er  earth;  the  third  among  the  sons  of  light. 

Most  musical  of  mourners,  weep  anew  ! 
Not  all  to  that  bright  station  dared  to  climb ; 
And  happier  they  their  happiness  who  knew, 
Whose  tapers  yet  burn  through  that  night  of  time 
In  which  suns  perished;  others  more  sublime, 
Struck  by  the  envious  wrath  of  man  or  God, 
Have  sunk,  extinct  in  their  refulgent  prime; 
And  some  yet  live,  treading  the  thorny  road, 
Which  leads,  through  toil  and  hate,  to  Fame's  serene  abode. 


But  now,  thy  youngest,  dearest  one,  has  perished 
The  nursling  of  thy  widowhood,  who  grew, 
Like  a  pale  flower  by  some  sad  maiden  cherished, 
And  fed  with  true  love  tears,  instead  of  dew; 
Most  musical  of  mourners,  weep  anew  ! 
Thy  extreme  hope,  the  loveliest  and  the  last, 
The  bloom,  whose  petals  nipt  before  they  blew 
Died  on  the  promise  of  the  fruit,  is  waste ; 
The  broken  lily  lies  —  the  storm  is  overpast. 


To  that  high  Capital,  where  kingly  Death 

Keeps  his  pale  court  in  beauty  and  decay, 

He  came ;  and  bought,  with  price  of  purest  breath, 

A  grave  among  the  eternal.  —  Come  away  ! 

Haste,  while  the  vault  of  blue  Italian  day 

Is  yet  his  fitting  charnel-roof !  while  still 

He  lies,  as  if  in  dewy  sleep  he  lay ; 

Awake  him  not !  surely  he  takes  his  fill 

Of  deep  and  liquid  rest,  forgetful  of  all  ill . 

He  will  awake  no  more,  oh,  never  more  !  — 
Within  the  twilight  chamber  spreads  apace, 
The  shadow  of  white  Death,  and  at  the  door 
Invisible  Corruption  waits  to  trace 
His  extreme  way  to  her  dim  dwelling-place ; 
The  eternal  Hunger  sits,  but  pity  and  awe 
Soothe  her  pale  rage,  nor  dares  she  to  deface 
So  fair  a  prey,  till  darkness,  and  the  law 
Of  mortal  change,  shall  fill  the  grave  which  is  her  maw. 



O,  weep  for  Adonais  !  — The  quick  Dreams, 

The  passion-winged  Ministers  of  thought, 

Who  were  his  flocks,  whom  near  the  living  streams 

Of  his  young  spirit  he  fed,  and  whom  he  taught 

The  love  which  was  its  music,  wander  not,— 

Wander  no  more,  from  kindling  brain  to  brain, 

But  droop  there,  whence  they  sprung ;  and  mourn  their  lot 

Round  the  cold  heart,  where,  after  their  sweet  pain, 

They  ne'er  will  gather  strength,  or  find  a  home  again. 

And  one  with  trembling  hands  clasps  his  cold  head, 
And  fans  him  with  her  moonlight  wings,  and  cries; 
"  Our  love,  our  hope,  our  sorrow,  is  not  dead ; 
"  See,  on  the  silken  fringe  of  his  faint  eyes, 
"  Like  dew  upon  a  sleeping  flower,  there  lies 
"  A  tear  some  Dream  has  loosened  from  his  brain." 
Lost  Angel  of  a  ruined  Paradise  ! 
She  knew  not  'twas  her  own ;  as  with  no  stain 
She  faded,  like  a  cloud  which  had  outwept  its  rain. 

One  from  a  lucid  urn  of  starry  dew 
Washed  his  light  limbs  as  if  embalming  them ; 
Another  dipt  her  profuse  locks,  and  threw 
The  wreath  upon  him,  like  an  anadem, 
Which  frozen  tears  instead  of  pearls  begem ; 
Another  in  her  wilful  grief  would  break 
Her  bow  and  winged  reeds,  as  if  to  stem 
A  greater  loss  with  one  which  was  more  weak ; 
And  dull  the  barbed  fire  against  his  frozen  cheek. 

1 1 

Another  Splendour  on  his  mouth  alit, 
That  mouth,  whence  it  was  wont  to  draw  the  breath 
Which  gave  it  strength  to  pierce  the  guarded  wit, 
And  pass  into  the  panting  heart  beneath 
With  lightning  and  with  music :  the  damp  death 
Quenched  its  caress  upon  his  icy  lips ; 
And,  as  a  dying  meteor  stains  a  wreath 
Of  moonlight  vapour,  which  the  cold  night  clips, 
It  flushed  through  his  pale  limbs,  and  past  to  its  eclipse. 

And  others  came . . .  Desires  and  Adorations, 
Winged  Persuasions  and  veiled  Destinies, 
Splendours,  and  Glooms,  and  glimmering  Incarnations 
Of  hopes  and  fears,  and  twilight  Phantasies; 
And  Sorrow,  with  her  family  of  Sighs , 
And  Pleasure,  blind  with  tears,  led  by  the  gleam 
Of  her  own  dying  smile  instead  of  eyes, 
Came  in  slow  pomp ;  —  the  moving  pomp  might  seem 
Like  pageantry  of  mist  on  an  autumnal  stream. 

All  he  had  loved,  and  moulded  into  thought, 
From  shape,  and  hue,  and  odour,  and  sweet  sound, 
Lamented  Adonais.  Morning  sought 
Her  eastern  watchtower,  and  her  hair  unbound, 
Wet  with  the  tears  which  should  adorn  the  ground, 
Dimmed  the  aerial  eyes  that  kindle  day ; 
Afar  the  melancholy  thunder  moaned, 
Pale  Ocean  in  unquiet  slumber  lay, 
And  the  wild  winds  flew  round,  sobbing  in  their  dismay 

I  2 

Lost  Echo  sits  amid  the  voiceless  mountains, 
And  feeds  her  grief  with  his  remembered  lay, 
And  will  no  more  reply  to  winds  or  fountains, 
Or  amorous  birds  perched  on  the  young  green  spray, 
Or  herdsman's  horn,  or  bell  at  closing  day; 
Since  she  can  mimic  not  his  lips,  more  dear 
Than  those  for  whose  disdain  she  pined  away 
Into  a  shadow  of  all  sounds  :  —  a  drear 
Murmur,  between  their  songs,  is  all  the  woodmen  hear. 


Grief  made  the  young  Spring  wild,  and  she  threw  down 

Her  kindling  buds,  as  if  she  Autumn  were, 

Or  they  dead  leaves ;  since  her  delight  is  flown 

For  whom  should  she  have  waked  the  sullen  year  ? 

To  Phoebus  was  not  Hyacinth  so  dear 

Nor  to  himself  Narcissus,  as  to  both 

Thou  Adonais :  wan  they  stand  and  sere 

Amid  the  drooping  comrades  of  their  youth, 

With  dew  all  turned  to  tears;  odour,  to  sighing  ruth. 

Thy  spirit's  sister,  the  lorn  nightingale 
Mourns  not  her  mate  with  such  melodious  pain ; 
Not  so  the  eagle,  who  like  thee  could  scale 
Heaven,  and  could  nourish  in  the  sun's  domain 
Her  mighty  youth  with  morning,  doth  complain, 
Soaring  and  screaming  round  her  empty  nest, 
As  Albion  wails  for  thee :  the  curse  of  Cain 
Light  on  his  head  who  pierced  thy  innocent  breast, 
And  scared  the  angel  soul  that  was  its  earthly  guest ! 


Ah  woe  is  me !  Winter  is  come  and  gone, 
But  grief  returns  with  the  revolving  year ; 
The  airs  and  streams  renew  their  joyous  tone; 
The  ants,  the  bees,  the  swallows  reappear; 
Fresh  leaves  and  flowers  deck  the  dead  Seasons'  bier ; 
The  amorous  birds  now  pair  in  every  brake, 
And  build  their  mossy  homes  in  field  and  brere; 
And  the  green  lizard,  and  the  golden  snake, 
Like  unimprisoned  flames,  out  of  their  trance  awake. 

Through  wood  and  stream  and  field  and  hill  and  Ocean 
A  quickening  life  from  the  Earth's  heart  has  burst 
As  it  has  ever  done,  with  change  and  motion, 
From  the  great  morning  of  the  world  when  first 
God  dawned  on  Chaos ;  in  its  steam  immersed 
The  lamps  of  Heaven  flash  with  a  softer  light ; 
All  baser  things  pant  with  life's  sacred  thirst ; 
Diffuse  themselves ;  and  spend  in  love's  delight, 
The  beauty  and  the  joy  of  their  renewed  might. 

The  leprous  corpse  touched  by  this  spirit  tender 
Exhales  itself  in  flowers  of  gentle  breath ; 
Like  incarnations  of  the  stars,  when  splendour 
Is  changed  to  fragrance,  they  illumine  death 
And  mock  the  merry  worm  that  wakes  beneath ; 
Nought  we  know,  dies .  Shall  that  alone  which  knows 
Be  as  a  sword  consumed  before  the  sheath 
By  sightless  lightning  ?  —  th'  intense  atom  glows 
A  moment,  then  is  quenched  in  a  most  cold  repose. 


Alas  !  that  all  we  loved  of  him  should  be, 
But  for  our  grief,  as  if  it  had  not  been, 
And  grief  itself  be  mortal !  Woe  is  me  ! 
Whence  are  we,  and  why  are  we  ?  of  what  scene 
The  actors  or  spectators  ?  Great  and  mean 
Meet  massed  in  death,  who  lends  what  life  must  borrow. 
As  long  as  skies  are  blue,  and  fields  are  green, 
Evening  must  usher  night,  night  urge  the  morrow, 
Month  follow  month  with  woe,  and  year  wake  year  to  sorrow. 

He  will  awake  no  more,  oh,  never  more ! 
"  Wake  thou,"  cried  Misery,  "  childless  Mother,  rise 
"  Out  of  thy  sleep,  and  slake,  in  thy  heart's  core, 
"  A  wound  more  fierce  than  his  with  tears  and  sighs." 
And  all  the  Dreams  that  watched  Urania's  eyes, 
And  all  the  Echoes  whom  their  sister's  song 
Had  held  in  holy  silence,  cried :  "  Arise  !  " 
Swift  as  a  Thought  by  the  snake  Memory  stung, 
From  her  ambrosial  rest  the  fading  Splendour  sprung. 

She  rose  like  an  autumnal  Night,  that  springs 
Out  of  the  East,  and  follows  wild  and  drear 
The  golden  Day,  which,  on  eternal  wings, 
Even  as  a  ghost  abandoning  a  bier, 
Had  left  the  earth  a  corpse.  Sorrow  and  fear 
So  struck,  so  roused,  so  rapt  Urania; 
So  saddened  round  her  like  an  atmosphere 
Of  stormy  mist ;  so  swept  her  on  her  way 
Even  to  the  mournful  place  where  Adonais  lay. 


Out  of  her  secret  Paradise  she  sped, 
Through  camps  and  cities  rough  with  stone,  and  steel, 
And  human  hearts,  which  to  her  aery  tread 
Yielding  not,  wounded  the  invisible 
Palms  of  her  tender  feet  where'er  they  fell : 
And  barbed  tongues,  and  thoughts  more  sharp  than  they 
Rent  the  soft  Form  they  never  could  repel, 
Whose  sacred  blood,  like  the  young  tears  of  May, 
Paved  with  eternal  flowers  that  undeserving  way. 

In  the  death  chamber  for  a  moment  Death 
Shamed  by  the  presence  of  that  living  Might 
Blushed  to  annihilation,  and  the  breath 
Revisited  those  lips,  and  life  *s  pale  light 
Flashed  through  those  limbs,  so  late  her  dear  delight. 
"  Leave  me  not  wild  and  drear  and  comfortless, 
"  As  silent  lightning  leaves  the  starless  night ! 
"  Leave  me  not !  "  cried  Urania :  her  distress 
Roused  Death:  Death  rose  and  smiled,  and  met  her  vain  caress 

"  Stay  yet  awhile !  speak  to  me  once  again ; 
"  Kiss  me,  so  long  but  as  a  kiss  may  live ; 
"  And  in  my  heartless  breast  and  burning  brain 
"  That  word,  that  kiss  shall  all  thoughts  else  survive, 
"  With  food  of  saddest  memory  kept  alive, 
"  Now  thou  art  dead,  as  if  it  were  a  part 
"  Of  thee,  my  Adonais !  I  would  give 
"  All  that  I  am  to  be  as  thou  now  art ! 
u  But  I  am  chained  to  Time,  and  cannot  thence  depart ! 


'  O  gentle  child,  beautiful  as  thou  wert, 
4  Why  didst  thou  leave  the  trodden  paths  of  men 
'  Too  soon,  and  with  weak  hands  though  mighty  heart 
'  Dare  the  unpastured  dragon  in  his  den  ? 
1  Defenceless  as  thou  wert,  oh  where  was  then 
'  Wisdom  the  mirrored  shield,  or  scorn  the  spear? 
'  Or  hadst  thou  waited  the  full  cycle,  when 
'  Thy  spirit  should  have  filled  its  crescent  sphere, 
4  The  monsters  of  life's  waste  had  fled  from  thee  like  deer. 

1  The  herded  wolves,  bold  only  to  pursue ; 

•  The  obscene  ravens ,  clamorous  oer  the  dead ; 
'  The  vultures  to  the  conqueror's  banner  true 

4  Who  feed  where  Desolation  first  has  fed, 

'  And  whose  wings  rain  contagion;  —  how  they  fled, 

1  When  like  Apollo,  from  his  golden  bow, 

4  The  Pythian  of  the  age  one  arrow  sped 

'  And  smiled  !  —  The  spoilers  tempt  no  second  blow, 

'  They  fawn  on  the  proud  feet  that  spurn  them  as  they  go. 

'  The  sun  comes  forth,  and  many  reptiles  spawn ; 

•  He  sets,  and  each  ephemeral  insect  then 

•  Is  gathered  into  death  without  a  dawn, 

•  And  the  immortal  stars  awake  again ; 

•  So  is  it  in  the  world  of  living  men : 

1  A  godlike  mind  soars  forth,  in  its  delight 
'  Making  earth  bare  and  veiling  heaven,  and  when 
4  It  sinks,  the  swarms  that  dimmed  or  shared  its  light 
'  Leave  to  its  kindred  lamps  the  spirit's  awful  night."    ■ 



Thus  ceased  she :  and  the  mountain  shepherds  came 

Their  garlands  sere,  their  magic  mantles  rent ; 

The  Pilgrim  of  Eternity,  whose  fame 

Over  his  living  head  like  Heaven  is  bent, 

An  early  but  enduring  monument, 

Came,  veiling  all  the  lightnings  of  his  song 

In  sorrow ;  from  her  wilds  Ierne  sent 

The  sweetest  lyrist  of  her  saddest  wrong, 

And  love  taught  grief  to  fall  like  music  from  his  tongue . 

Midst  others  of  less  note,  came  one  frail  Form, 
A  phantom  among  men ;  companionless 
As  the  last  cloud  of  an  expiring  storm 
Whose  thunder  is  its  knell ;  he,  as  I  guess, 
Had  gazed  on  Nature's  naked  loveliness, 
Actaeon-like,  and  now  he  fled  astray 
With  feeble  steps  o'er  the  world's  wilderness, 
And  his  own  thoughts,  along  that  rugged  way, 
Pursued,  like  raging  hounds,  their  father  and  their  prey. 

A  pardlike  Spirit  beautiful  and  swift  — 
A  Love  in  desolation  masked ;  —  a  Power 
Girt  round  with  weakness ; —  it  can  scarce  uplift 
The  weight  of  the  superincumbent  hour ; 
It  is  a  dying  lamp,  a  falling  shower, 
A  breaking  billow ; —  even  whilst  we  speak 
Is  it  not  broken  ?  On  the  withering  flower 
The  killing  sun  smiles  brightly:  on  a  cheek 
The  life  can  burn  in  blood,  even  while  the  heart  may  break. 



His  head  was  bound  with  pansies  overblown, 
And  faded  violets,  white,  and  pied,  and  blue; 
And  a  light  spear  topped  with  a  cypress  cone, 
Round  whose  rude  shaft  dark  ivy  tresses  grew 
Yet  dripping  with  the  forest's  noonday  dew, 
Vibrated,  as  the  ever-beating  heart 
Shook  the  weak  hand  that  grasped  it ;  of  that  crew 
He  came  the  last,  neglected  and  apart ; 
A  herd- abandoned  deer  struck  by  the  hunter's  dart. 

All  stood  aloof,  and  at  his  partial  moan 
Smiled  through  their  tears ;  well  knew  that  gentle  band 
Who  in  another's  fate  now  wept  his  own ; 
As  in  the  accents  of  an  unknown  land, 
He  sung  new  sorrow ;  sad  Urania  scanned 
The  Stranger's  mien,  and  murmured :  "  who  art  thou  ?  " 
He  answered  not,  but  with  a  sudden  hand 
Made  bare  his  branded  and  ensanguined  brow, 
Which  was  like  Cain's  or  Christ's— Oh!  that  it  should  be  so! 

What  softer  voice  is  hushed  over  the  dead  ? 
Athwart  what  brow  is  that  dark  mantle  thrown  ? 
What  form  leans  sadly  o'er  the  white  death-bed, 
In  mockery  of  monumental  stone, 
The  heavy  heart  heaving  without  a  moan  ? 
If  it  be  He,  who,  gentlest  of  the  wise, 
Taught,  soothed,  loved,  honoured  the  departed  one ; 
Let  me  not  vex,  with  inharmonious  sighs 
The  silence  of  that  heart's  accepted  sacrifice. 


Our  Adonais  has  drunk  poison  —  oh  ! 
What  deaf  and,  viperous  murderer  could  crown 
Life's  early  cup  with  such  a  draught  of  woe  ? 
The  nameless  worm  would  now  itself  disown : 
It  felt,  yet  could  escape  the  magic  tone 
Whose  prelude  held  all  envy,  hate,  and  wrong, 
But  what  was  howling  in  one  breast  alone, 
Silent  with  expectation  of  the  song, 
Whose  master's  hand  is  cold,  whose  silver  lyre  unstrung. 

Live  thou,  whose  infamy  is  not  thy  fame ! 
Live  !  fear  no  heavier  chastisement  from  me, 
Thou  noteless  blot,  on  a  remembered  name  ! 
But  be  thyself,  and  know  thyself  to  be ! 
And  ever  at  thy  season  be  thou  free 
To  spill  the  venom  when  thy  fangs  o'er  flow : 
Remorse  and  Self-contempt  shall  cling  to  thee ; 
Hot  Shame  shall  burn  upon  thy  secret  brow, 
And  like  a  beaten  hound  tremble  thoushalt  —  as  now. 

Nor  let  us  weep  that  our  delight  is  fled 
Far  from  these  carrion  kites  that  scream  below ; 
He  wakes  or  sleeps  with  the  enduring  dead ; 
Thou  canst  not  soar  where  he  is  sitting  now. — 
Dust  to  the  dust !  but  the  pure  spirit  shall  flow 
Back  to  the  burning  fountain  whence  it  came, 
A  portion  of  the  Eternal,  which  must  glow 
Through  time  and  change,  unquenchably  the  same, 
Whilst  thy  cold  embers  choke  the  sordid  hearth  of  shame. 



Peace,  peace !  he  is  not  dead,  he  doth  not  sleep 

He  hath  awakened  from  the  dream  of  life  — 
'Tis  we,  who  lost  in  stormy  visions,  keep 
With  phantoms  an  unprofitable  strife, 
And  in  mad  trance,  strike  with  our  spirit's  knife 
Invulnerable  nothings. — We  decay- 
Like  corpses  in  a  charnel ;  fear  and  grief 
Convulse  us  and  consume  us  day  by  day, 
And  cold  hopes  swarm  like  worms  within  our  living  clay. 

He  has  outsoared  the  shadow  of  our  night  ; 
Envy  and  calumny  and  hate  and  pain, 
And  that  unrest  which  men  miscall  delight, 
Can  touch  him  not  and  torture  not  again ; 
From  the  contagion  of  the  world's  slow  stain 
He  is  secure,  and  now  can  never  mourn 
A  heart  grown  cold,  a  head  grown  grey  in  vain ; 
Nor,  when  the  spirit's  self  has  ceased  to  burn, 
With  sparkless  ashes  load  an  unlamented  urn. 

He  lives,  he  wakes  —  tis  Death  is  dead,  not  he; 
Mourn  not  for  Adonais. — Thou  young  Dawn 
Turn  all  thy  dew  to  splendour,  for  from  thee 
The  spirit  thou  lamentest  is  not  gone ; 
Ye  caverns  and  ye  forests,  cease  to  moan  ! 
Cease  ye  faint  flowers  and  fountains,  and  thou  Air 
Which  like  a  mourning  veil  thy  scarf  hadst  thrown 
O'er  the  abandoned  Earth,  now  leave  it  bare 
Even  to  the  joyous  stars  which  smile  on  it's  despair  I 

2  I 

He  is  made  one  with  Nature :  there  is  heard 
His  voice  in  all  her  music,  from  the  moan 
Of  thunder,  to  the  song  of  night's  sweet  bird ; 
He  is  a  presence  to  be  felt  and  known 
In  darkness  and  in  light,  from  herb  and  stone, 
Spreading  itself  where'er  that  Power  may  move 
Which  has  withdrawn  his  being  to  its  own  ; 
Which  wields  the  world  with  never  wearied  love, 
Sustains  it  from  beneath,  and  kindles  it  above. 

He  is  a  portion  of  the  loveliness 
Which  once  he  made  more  lovely  :  he  doth  bear 
His  part,  while  the  one  Spirit's  plastic  stress 
Sweeps  through  the  dull  dense  world,  compelling  there, 
All  new  successions  to  the  forms  they  wear ; 
Torturing  th'unwilling  dross  that  checks  it's  flight 
To  it's  own  likeness,  as  each  mass  may  bear ; 
And  bursting  in  it's  beauty  and  it's  might 
From  trees  and  beasts  and  men  into  the  Heaven's  light. 

The  splendours  of  the  firmament  of  time 
May  be  eclipsed,  but  are  extinguished  not ; 
Like  stars  to  their  appointed  height  they  climb 
And  death  is  a  low  mist  which  cannot  blot 
The  brightness  it  may  veil.     When  lofty  thought 
Lifts  a  young  heart  above  its  mortal  lair, 
And  love  and  life  contend  in  it,  for  what 
Shall  be  its  earthly  doom,  the  dead  live  there 
And  move  like  winds  of  light  on  dark  and  stormy  air. 


The  inheritors  of  unfulfilled  renown 
Rose  from  thier  thrones,  built  beyond  mortal  thought, 
Far  in  the  Unapparent.   Chatterton 
Rose  pale,  his  solemn  agony  had  not 
Yet  faded  from  him ;  Sidney,  as  he  fought 
And  as  he  fell  and  as  he  lived  and  loved 
Sublimely  mild,  a  Spirit  without  spot, 
Arose ;  and  Lucan,  by  his  death  approved : 
Oblivion  as  they  rose  shrank  like  a  thing  reproved. 

And  many  more,  whose  names  on  Earth  are  dark 
But  whose  transmitted  effluence  cannot  die 
So  long  as  fire  outlives  the  parent  spark, 
Rose,  robed  in  dazzling  immortality. 
"  Thou  art  become  as  one  of  us  ",  they  cry, 
"  It  was  for  thee  yon  kingless  sphere  has  long 
"  Swung  blind  in  unascended  majesty, 
"  Silent  alone  amid  an  Heaven  of  song. 
"  Assume  thy  winged  throne,  thou  Vesper  of  our  throng !  " 

Who  mourns  for  Adonais  ?  oh  come  forth 
Fond  wretch  !  and  know  thyself  and  him  aright. 
Clasp  with  thy  panting  soul  the  pendulous  earth ; 
As  from  a  centre,  dart  thy  spirit's  light 
Beyond  all  worlds,  until  its  spacious  might 
Satiate  the  void  circumference :  then  shrink 
Even  to  a  point  within  our  day  and  night ; 
And  keep  thy  heart  light  lest  it  make  thee  sink 
When  hope  has  kindled  hope,  and  lured  thee  to  the  brink. 


Or  go  to  Rome,  which  is  the  sepulchre 
O,  not  of  him,  but  of  our  joy:  'tis  nought 
That  ages,  empires,  and  religions  there 
Lie  buried  in  the  ravage  they  have  wrought ; 
For  such  as  he  can  lend, —  they  borrow  not 
Glory  from  those  who  made  the  world  their  prey  ; 
And  he  is  gathered  to  the  kings  of  thought 
Who  waged  contention  with  their  time's  decay, 
And  of  the  past  are  all  that  cannot  pass  away. 

Go  thou  to  Rome,  —  at  once  the  Paradise, 
The  grave,  the  city,  and  the  wilderness ; 
And  where  its  wrecks  like  shattered  mountains  rise, 
And  flowering  weeds,  and  fragrant  copses  dress 
The  bones  of  Desolation's  nakedness 
Pass,  till  the  Spirit  of  the  spot  shall  lead 
Thy  footsteps  to  a  slope  of  green  access 
Where,  like  an  infant's  smile,  over  the  dead, 
A  light  of  laughing  flowers  along  the  grass  is  spread. 

And  gray  walls  moulder  round,  on  which  dull  Time 
Feeds,  like  slow  fire  upon  a  hoary  brand; 
And  one  keen  pyramid  with  wedge  sublime, 
Pavilioning  the  dust  of  him  who  planned 
This  refuge  for  his  memory,  doth  stand 
Like  flame  transformed  to  marble ;  and  beneath, 
A  field  is  spread,  on  which  a  newer  band 
Have  pitched  in  Heaven's  smile  their  camp  of  death 
Welcoming  him  we  lose  with  scarce  extinguished  breath, 


Here  pause :  these  graves  are  all  too  young  as  yet 
To  have  out  grown  the  sorrow  which  consigned 
Its  charge  to  each ;  and  if  the  seal  is  set, 
Here,  on  one  fountain  of  a  mourning  mind, 
Break  it  not  thou !  too  surely  shalt  thou  find 
Thine  own  well  full,  if  thou  returnest  home, 
Of  tears  and  gall.  From  the  world's  bitter  wind 
Seek  shelter  in  the  shadow  of  the  tomb. 
What  Adonais  is,  why  fear  we  to  become  ? 

The  One  remains,  the  many  change  and  pass ; 
Heaven's  light  forever  shines,  Earth's  shadows  fly ; 
Life,  like  a  dome  of  many-coloured  glass, 
Stains  the  white  radiance  of  Eternity, 
Until  Death  tramples  it  to  fragments.  —  Die, 
If  thou  wouldst  be  with  that  which  thou  dost  seek  1 
Follow  where  all  is  fled  I  —  Rome's  azure  sky, 
Flowers,  ruins,  statues,  music,  words,  are  weak 
The  glory  they  transfuse  with  fitting  truth  to  speak. 

Why  linger,  why  turn  back,  why  shrink,  my  Heart? 
Thy  hopes  are  gone  before :  from  all  things  here 
They  have  departed ;  thou  shouldst  now  depart  I 
A  light  is  past  from  the  revolving  year, 
And  man,  and  woman;  and  what  still  is  dear 
Attracts  to  crush,  repels  to  make  thee  wither. 
The  soft  sky  smiles,  —  the  low  wind  whispers  near : 
'Tis  Adonais  calls !  oh,  hasten  thither, 
No  more  let  Life  divide  what  Death  can  join  together. 

2  5 

That  Light  whose  smile  kindles  the  Universe, 
That  Beauty  in  which  all  things  work  and  move, 
That  Benediction  which  the  eclipsing  Curse 
Of  birth  can  quench  not,  that  sustaining  Love 
Which  through  the  web  of  being  blindly  wove 
By  man  and  beast  and  earth  and  air  and  sea, 
Burns  bright  or  dim,  as  each  are  mirrors  of 
The  fire  for  which  all  thirst;  now  beams  on  me, 
Consuming  the  last  clouds  of  cold  mortality. 

The  breath  whose  might  I  have  invoked  in  song 
Descends  on  me;  my  spirit's  bark  is  driven, 
Far  from  the  shore,  far  from  the  trembling  throng 
Whose  sails  were  never  to  the  tempest  given  ; 
The  massy  earth  and  sphered  skies  are  riven ! 
I  am  borne  darkly,  fearfully,  afar ; 
Whilst  burning  through  the  inmost  veil  of  Heaven, 
The  soul  of  Adonais,  like  a  star, 
Beacons  from  the  abode  where  the  Eternal  are. 


Richard  Clay  &  Sons, 

bread  street  hill,  london. 

fiitn gay.  Suffolk.